This is a printed postcard in the "Dainty" series from Scarborough-based publisher E.T.W.Dennis & Sons Ltd., a very early producer of picture postcards issued throughout Britain. The caption is "The Scarborough Tramways, opened May 6th 1904" with the additional message "Happy be thy speed". The view is in fact a pre-opening trial of the tramway. It is by the main station of the North Eastern Railway and the passengers are no doubt members of staff. The tram is yet to have its destination boxes fitted.
The Scarborough Tramways Company, owned by Edmundson's Electricity Corporation Ltd., operated a 3ft 6in gauge tramway on just under five miles of track. The main route formed two joined circles in the town, with three short branches to the North Sands, South Sands and south to the Spa. There was a short parking spur at the station. The depot was in Scalby Road. The system opened on 6th May 1904.
Rolling stock consisted of 28 4-wheel open-top cars painted dark red and cream. Tram 10 in our view was one of the first fifteen (1-15), built in 1904 by the Brush Electrical Engineering Company Ltd. of Loughborough. They had Brush AA trucks, 2 x 35hp GE58 motors and BTH B18 controllers. Three cars (16-18) with bodies from the British Electric Car Company Ltd., of Trafford Park, Manchester, were also delivered in 1904. Four more cars (19-22) came from Brush in 1905, but which used the Brush Conaty truck. Cars 16 to 22 were fitted with the Raworth regenerative braking system, but this was replaced by conventional electrical equipment matching 1 to 15 sometime after 1911, when regeneration had been discredited in a the Board of Trade report subsequent to a runaway accident on the Rawtenstall tramway in which sixteen people had been injured. Finally six cars (23-28) were bought second-hand from Ipswich Corporation Tramways in 1925. These had been built in 1903 by Brush and were on the AA truck but with Westinghouse motors and controllers. At the same time an additional body was also purchased from Ipswich to replace that on car 21 which had been damaged in an accident.
In 1931 Scarborough Corporation decided to take over the company tramways and close them in favour of motor buses. This occurred with the last tram running on 30th September. Buses were then operated on a profit-sharing basis by the United Automobile Services Ltd.
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